The different phases of the overall plan have different goals. The obvious goal of New Atlantis is to "set up a community". After a base in Costa Rica, I would like to get affiliate communities in the following areas, chosen mostly for geographic importance: Texas, Los Angeles, Vancouver BC, Oregon or Washington, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Chile. If you put these on a map, and then you place a base on the east side of Costa Rica, one near Indonesia, and one on the Cook Islands you start to get a network of low cost, travel hubs. The direct connections by Airline or short boat distance are: Costa Rica <-> Texas, Indonesia <-> Singapore, Cook Islands <-> New Zealand. Also note that the US maintains good political relations with Texas, Singapore and New Zealand. Travel networks sprout up from surrounding areas, it is more likely to have a location in Vanc, BC than in OR/WA. LA is good for international flights to NZ and Singapore (I checked and very few flights come out of San Francisco). Australia is questionable, but there are other motivations for having something ProUS between Singapore and New Zealand.
I don't see New Atlantis as an end goal, more a change of style and a specific implementation of a social experiment. More than NA we need the ability to create nations, and use the experience of other systems to fill in gaps in our knowledge and avoid duplication of work. I would much prefer to go to a website, register an intentional community, see how much money we need for what, and move in. More than an intentional community, I want to register a nation to set up a system of self governance and no taxes. The problem with this is that I can't get territory, I can't get UN recognition without territory, I can't get passports or banking jurisdiction in our country, and not at all for our children born there.
The easy solution is to remain part of a parent country that does these things for you, most people are designing their communities close to cities for work, health care, infrastructure like roads.
The cost savings of communities apply to nations as well. Train militia instead of having a standing army. Create your own teachers. We don't need roads on the ocean, we only need docks. I don't want police. Set up a system of arbitration insead a system of lawyers.
The main things I want from a nation are: travel papers such as passports, and um... banking identification such as passports? A common currency would be nice I think, but I think money should reflect value and most currencies don't. (The value of most currency is what you can buy with it.)
I imagine a loose international, not physically connected system. A common (default) currency and enough local regulations that other countries will accept our travel passports. That Federation is my goal, especially since it will be able to recognize frontiers as places with identity.
In stage 2 the communities will have the things that help a community succeed. Equipment, a default rule policy, a default accounting system, a default fiscal policy, a default infrastructure management system. The hard questions have default answers, and then you can customize as you like. I plan for some of the initial benefits to include health care, which is critical to people in the US (many community members are not "officially employed" and have no healthcare).
The more similar our plans the more information we get about what works despite people. If a community fails, was it because of a very few people, or the way the community was structured?
We would have many resources available to community members, and community to community resources as well. The modular housing is one example of a project that could be run by a single group, for the benefit of other groups. I would prefer to buy from sustainable communities where possible, it makes importing resources more sustainable. If we have a common accounting method of sustainability, we know how sustainable. (Measuring the sustainability of an activity is a very new idea!)
The amount of resources available to a single community is "X" where "X" is the pooled resources. The resources available to a network of communities is y(y-1) where "y" is the resources of each community. When y is large, people often approximate by saying y^2. This method is used to describe the collective resources of an interconnected network.
Affiliating will probably be very simple, I would be interested in how each group modifies the default structure. The main advantage to New Atlantis as a project is membership filtering or intermediate levels of collaboration, the final advantage to other communities is their members can take that "next step" of joining a Leaver society.
I think that summarizes our research and current lines of thinking. None of this has been proposed in entirety to any other members, so writing this out was a good idea.